Legislative Agenda

MNA Approved Bills 2006-2007

The following is a list of bills approved by the MNA's Congress on Health Policy and Legislation and the MNA Board of Directors which addresses Safe Staffing, Patient Safety and Quality of Nursing. If the title of the bill is a hyperlink, it is linked to the full text of the bill.

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A Bill Relative to Patient Safety (HB 2059)
After hours of negotiation last spring, a compromise Safe RN Staffing bill was produced that passed overwhelmingly in the House. Representative Christine Canavan is re-filing this bill with a few slight moderations. This bill would direct the Department of Public Health to limits and standards for the number of patients a nurse would care for at one time. This would improve the quality of patient care at facilities across the state and increase nurse recruitment and retention. It has also been proven to be cost effective, as increased staffing leads to decreased medical errors, shorter patient stays and may reduce costs related to nurse staff turnover. Sponsored by Representative Christine Canavan and Senator Marc Pacheco.

An Act Providing for Safe Patient Handling (HB 2052)
Representative Jennifer Callahan is re-filing this essential legislation. An Act Providing for Safe Patient Handling would set acceptable standards for the lifting and handling of patients to curb the high rate of injuries incurred by RNs doing such activities. Direct patient care RNs get injured from lifting, moving and repositioning their patients at a higher injury rate than that of laborers, movers and truck drivers according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. At a time when we are trying to retain and recruit more nurses to the bedside, this legislation is critical to ensure that we do not lose quality nursing staff to preventable injuries. The bill also features a component that would provide financial incentives to hospitals to aid in costs incurred due to compliance. Sponsored by Representative Jennifer Callahan.

An Act Requiring Health Care Employers to Develop and Implement Programs to Prevent Workplace Violence (SB 1345)
This bill would require health care employers to annually perform a risk assessment, and based on those findings, develop and implement programs to minimize the danger of workplace violence to employees. Sponsored by Senator Jarrett Barrios.

An Act Relative to Assault and Battery on Health Care Providers (HB 1700)
This legislation would punish those patients/clients who assault any health care provider treating, transporting or otherwise performing their duty. The punishment would be imprisonment in the house of correction for between ninety days and two and one half years, or by a fine between five hundred and five thousand dollars, or both. Sponsored by Representative Michael Rodrigues.

An Act Relative to a Patient's Report Card of Nursing (HB 2199)
This legislation would require hospitals, nursing homes, clinics etc., licensed or registered by the Department of Public Health and health maintenance organizations to report appropriate data. This would include, but not be limited to; measures which differentiate between severity of patient illness, readmission rates, lengths-of-stay, patient/family satisfaction, indicators of the nature and amount of nursing care directly provided by licensed nurses, the number of patients on average cared for by a nurse and documentation of defined nursing interventions and patient safety measures. This would enable purchasers of group health insurance policies and health care services and the public to make meaningful financial and quality of care comparisons. Sponsored by Representative Michael Moran.

An Act to Ensure Safe Medication Administration (SB 1320)
This legislation would prohibit unlicensed personnel from distributing medications for which they have not received sufficient education and training as approved by the state. Sponsored by Senator Marc Pacheco.

An Act Relative to Improvements in Private Duty Nursing Care for Developmentally Disabled Children (SB 122)
This legislation would provide expert nursing care to all developmentally disabled children eligible to receive private duty nursing care. Sponsored by Senator Steven Tolman.

An Act Relative to a Nurse Deputy Commissioner at the Department of Public Health (SB 1326)
This legislation would direct the Department of Public Health to appoint a registered nurse to be Nurse Deputy Commissioner responsible for statewide planning, policy development and the coordination, communication and resource management for programs and district health officers within the department. Sponsored by Senator Pamela Resor.

An Act Relative to a Registered Nurse Seat on the Public Health Council
(HB 2060)

This legislation would add an additional seat on the Public Health Council for a registered nurse from the state's largest organization of registered nurses. Sponsored by Representative Stephen Canessa.

An Act Relative to Group 4 for Health Care Professionals (SB 1521)
This legislation would include in group 4, for purposes of retirement, state employees whose duties require them to be licensed health care professionals for ten or more years who care for prisoners, or the mentally ill, mentally retarded, chronically psychologically impaired or those with chronic infectious disease. Sponsored by Senator Brian Joyce.

An Act Relative to Group 2 Employees (state) (HB 2589)
This legislation would include in group 2, for purposes of retirement, state employees who care for the mentally ill, mentally retarded, chronically psychologically impaired or those with chronic infectious disease. Sponsored by Representative Michael Kane.

An Act Related to Interest Arbitration for Health Care Professionals
(SB 1536)
This legislation would make arbitration for a bargaining unit employed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts binding, provided that the scope is limited to wages, hours and conditions of employment. Sponsored by Senator Thomas McGee.

An Act to Include Certain Municipal Employees of the Commonwealth in Group 2 of the Contributory Retirement System for Public Employees
(HB 2767)

This legislation would entail classifying licensed nursing care employees of cities and towns in group 2 of the Public Employees Retirement System. Sponsored by Representative Timothy Toomey.

An Act Regarding Insurance Equity for Registered Nurse First Assistants
(HB 998)

This legislation would require insurance coverage for registered nurse first assistant services in insurance policies and health service contracts issued in the Commonwealth. Sponsored by Representative David Linsky.

An Act Relative to Creating a Difficult to Manage Unit within the Department of Mental Health (HB 1883)
This legislation would create a "Difficult to Manage" unit for women within the Department of Mental Health and reinstate the "Difficult to Manage" unit for men. Sponsored by Representative Patricia Haddad.

An Act Authorizing the Sale of "RN" Distinctive Registration Plates
(HB 3479)

This legislation would direct the Registrar of Motor Vehicles to issue distinctive license plates whose proceeds would establish a fund for the future of nursing. Sponsored by Representative Jennifer Flanagan.